News Release

Support for Caregivers Making a Difference for Families in the North West LHIN

Ontario Funding Respite Services to Help Families Care for Loved Ones

Thunder Bay, April 4, 2017 - This year, Ontario increased supports for people caring for their loved ones at home in the North West LHIN, by increasing access to respite services for local families.

Today — on National Family Caregiver Day — the Government of Ontario is thanking people in Northwestern Ontario for the work they do every day to care for their loved ones. A caregiver is someone who takes on the unpaid role of helping a family member or loved one with their physical or cognitive condition, injury or chronic life-limiting illness.

For the North West Local Health Integration Network, investments from the province have allowed the Community Care Access Centre to expand their services in Northwestern Ontario and provide respite care for family members who serve as caregivers.

Judith Addley is a family caregiver whose day to day has improved thanks to expanded respite care services in the North West LHIN. Respite services provide a break for family caregivers who accept the responsibility of caring for family members in the home.

“Respite is my life,” says Judith. “Caregiving is a full time job and without respite it would be hard to function. Respite allows me to be the best caregiver I can. It helps me rejuvenate and gives me time to what I need to do without worrying about my family member. Before respite I did not know what I was going to do. It is giving me back my life while allowing me to keep my loved one at home. Respite works. Respite is love.”

Ontario’s support has allowed for approximately 600,000 additional hours of respite services for caregivers across the province this year, with more than 12,000 of those in Northwestern Ontario.

Supporting patients and their caregivers is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. This plan is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.


“Improving home and community care is one of our government’s most important health care priorities. Informal caregivers, like family members and friends, contribute to more than seventy per cent of their loved ones’ caregiving needs, and we know how stressful that can be. We want to ensure caregivers are supported and able to take rests from providing care to their loved ones.”

— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“The North West LHIN acknowledges the vital role that caregivers play in the health care system of Northwestern Ontario, and is proud to participate in National Family Caregiver Day. Caregivers represent a diverse group of people whose work is helping to support the transformation of the health care system into one that puts patients at the centre of care. They provide care in a variety of settings and play a key role in providing care in the home, while being supported by the health care system, for the long term wellbeing of patients and families. Thank you to all the caregivers across the North West LHIN for the work you do every day in support of your loved ones.”

— Laura Kokocinski, North West LHIN CEO


  • Informal caregivers represent approximately one in five Ontarians.
  • The province has invested $401,000 to better support caregivers in the North West LHIN.
  • Ontario invested $100 million last year to enhance support for home care clients with high needs and their caregivers.
  • The investment provided $80 million to support enhanced care for clients who are most in need and $20 million for caregiver respite, allowing caregivers who need it the most to take rests from providing care to their loved ones.
  • Through consultations with people in Ontario and members of Ontario's Patient and Caregiver Advisory Table, the province recently established a Statement of Home and Community Care Values. This Statement reflects the needs and priorities of home and community care clients and their caregivers and ensures their values are reflected in the care they receive.  
  • These initiatives support the commitments made in Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care.


Media Contact:

Hugh Mullally
Corporate Communications and Community Engagement Consultant
807-684-9425, extension 2013
Toll free 1-866-907-5446, extension 2013

Karl Oczkowski 
Corporate Communications and Community Engagement Consultant 
807-684-9425, extension 2024 
Toll free 1-866-907-5446, extension 2024